Fundamental Astuteness

The Essence of Astuteness: Non-Partisan Intellectual Honesty

Why Ron Paul will not win

with 22 comments

Ron Paul The Ron Paul campaign is undoubtedly disappointed by their low showing in Super Tuesday’s splash. The campaign received on average about 4% per state, spiked at times only by a rare double digit showing in a few states like North Dakota.

It wasn’t supposed to be that low. The Paul campaign had conceived and executed a number of notable and worthy exploits; November saw the rise in Ron Paul’s ascendancy after he (or rather, his unsolicited supporters) raised $4 million on November 5th of last year; he roughly equaled his Republican opponents 3rd quarter fund raising totals; he won more straw polls than any other Republican contender; he won a substantial amount of debates; he received $6 million on a Sunday in December, and came close to breaking existing one-day fund raising records; at times, his internet popularity rivaled those of his opponents. Consequently, expectations that campaign efforts would turn into votes were running high.

 

It was not to be. First came Iowa; then New Hampshire; then South Carolina; Nevada provided some hope, only to be met by the catastrophe of Super Tuesday.

 

Thousands were disappointed. I must confess that I include myself in that number. But as I was going over the countless youtube videos and the numerous “issues” links on the Campaign website, I began to see why. Patterns started to emerge.

The barrier between the Ron Paul Revolution and the ballot box was four fold. Part of it this barrier was Ron Paul’s problem, part of it the American people’s preference, part of it the Media’s habit. .

Negativity—An ‘everything is wrong’ attitude drives voters away:

The first and most obvious pattern I observe in the Paul camp is ‘negativity’. Everything is wrong. Government is oppressive. America is an empire builder. ronpaul2.jpgThe economy is going to pot. We don’t have a gold standard. The DHS should be abolished. The CIA is a secret police/world force. Gun rights are trampled on. The United States provokes terrorism. The tax system is too complicated. The Republican Party is losing its way. The Neo-Cons are high-jacking our foreign policy. All negatives. All is wrong.

 

A candidate cannot move him/her/self forward if all they do is remind the voter about problems. To move forward, a candidate must balance not only condemning the wrongs but also optimizing the solutions and advantages of the proposed change. If a candidate primarily castigates problems and doesn’t promote himself as the solution, voters will subconsciously associate the candidate with the problems—because that is all the candidate talks about. What one talks about, one becomes associated with, and when a candidate associates himself with negatives, voters are much less likely to positively affirm him at the ballot box. Voters will be filled with a pessimism about the Status Quo, rather than with the optimism of the proposed change .

Practicality & Plausibility:

‘Abolish the CIA’ or ‘ establish the Gold Standard’; ‘abolish the DHS’. Whether or not these institutions should be abolished is debatable, but let’s face it: In an era when candidates are elected based on media sound-bytes and pep rallies, seemingly radical positions like the ones mentioned above are hard to credibly defend in view of modern constraints. Just because these propositions are radical doesn’t mean they are bad ideas. But most of America is turned off by these suggestions anyway. It’s doubtful that Congress would approve any of these. So the Political Pundits write the candidate off as a ‘fringe’ candidate, the media conveys that perception, so the public believes it. Thus another couple of pieces of the voting pie go down the tubes.

Christianity—The Evangelical Vote: Evangelicals constitute a noticeable portion of the conservative voting bloc. Consequently, not losing the evangelical vote is critical for winning the nomination.

As Christians, the Religious Right by and large favors constitutional amendments banning both abortion and states from recognizing gay marriage. Since Ron Paul voted against the marriage amendment and believes that abortion should be decided by the States, it is hard to see how Paul can garner this crucial support for his bid.

This doesn’t mean it is impossible, immoral, or contradictory for Christians to support Ron Paul. They could. Here’s why:

 

 

-Voting against the marriage amendment is not to say that he is against biblical marriage. It means he believes that marriage is a religious institution that should not be regulated by the State. For if the state claims the liberty to define marriage favorably, could they not also whimsically choose to define it wrongly? It would seem to be better if the Federal Government did not regulate this at all, and rather in this case follow a “live and let live” policy.

 

Abortion: Saying that Federal Government should not ban abortion is not saying that one supports it. It simply means that one understands that there are different jurisdictions for different levels of government. Dr. Paul personally opposes abortion, but believes that the States should regulate it. Hopefully, ban it. Will all States abolish abortion immediately? No. Will lives still be lost? Yes. And the States will have to deal with God about their moral iniquity.

 

So, it is possible to be logically consistent Christian and support these platforms. Does that mean that Evangelicals who don’t support Ron Paul are illogical? Not necessarily. It could be that Christians have thought these through, and in the end decided that they’d prefer a candidate who would push for Constitutional Amendment solutions to these issues rather than rely on the States action or lack thereof.

 

 

Attackability, which leads to a lack of Media Viability: Not going after his rivals means the media is less likely to put him on the front page and treat him with any sense of credibility.

Ron Paul proclaims his message. He then moves onto proclaim the message—again; consistently. The problem is that, after he gains territory by preaching his message, Ron Paulhe does not make more room for himself by going after and attacking his rivals. By this I do not mean he should run an excessively negative campaign like Romney, but rather go after the policies advocated by his opponents. He rarely does this, and this translates in part to a lack of media attention.

 

Why? Because the media loves clashes. It gets coverage and viewers. The media doesn’t like to cover the norm. They like to cover something that is busy, combative, and attractive. They report on the exceptions, explosions, and fires. That is why the headlines are “Giuliani, Romney, clash over immigration” rather than “Candidates peaceful for some of the time”. So Ron Paul not attacking his rivals translated, I believe, into not only a lack of media attention by virtue of his non-combativeness (which equals non-attractiveness), but also helped the other candidates keep their voters. If the candidates get to keep their voters, that means less people vote for Ron Paul. But if Ron Paul had been willing to go after his rivals and refute what they assert in addition to winning more converts with his “message”, than the number of ‘Paulistines’ (as Michael Medved loves to call them) might have been larger, and so the outcome of Super Tuesday just might have been different.

Summery:

The purpose of this post was not to prove why Ron Paul shouldn’t be elected, but rather, why he won’t be. I must confess that I myself felt (to put it euphemistically) ‘less than Ron Paulopposed’ to Ron Paul’s message, candidacy, and potential presidency. I believe in limited government; I believe in a humble foreign policy; I believed in state’s rights, and I believed that Ron Paul could do some good. So therefore I must confess that I was numbered among those who were disappointed at the results from Super Tuesday that so intensely shattered the dreams and optimism held by so many—a dream that I must for now bid goodbye.

 

 

Source used for getting the voting record:

http://www.ontheissues.org/Ron_Paul.htm

Source for opinion on the CIA (a lot more can be found on youtube)

 

http://www.kxan.com/Global/story.asp?S=7824231

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Written by Astuteness

February 13, 2008 at 1:26 pm

22 Responses

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  1. […] Read the rest of this great post here […]

  2. […] Read the rest of this great post here […]

    Why Ron Paul will not win

    February 13, 2008 at 2:21 pm

  3. Good points, all. As an RP supporter, I worried about the message being too negative. And left unsaid was that his solutions, should they be adopted, would require more personal discipline and perhaps sacrifice. Something many voters don’t want to hear. Well written, unlike most blog posts I have read this election cycle.

    Stevo

    February 13, 2008 at 2:44 pm

  4. Very insightful. I would like to add a couple of things.

    1)
    Paul too often focused on what people didn’t want to hear. Instead of focusing on why we need to leave Iraq, he could have focused on why we are letting Osama bin Laden run free in Afghanastan. He allowed the media to dictate what he said, which was often the things most republicans didn’t want to hear.

    2)
    He left WAY too much room for people to manipulate what he says, and he didn’t fight back. In one debate, he said that our economy would improve if we stopped printing money, stopped borrowing from China, and left Iraq. Thompson retorted, “let me get this straight. if we stop printing money, we can get out of the war in iraq?” he laughed, everyone laughed. That isn’t what Paul said, but he was made to look like a fool, and he didn’t defend himself.

    He often spoke of leaving Iraq. He allowed the media to spin it as if he wanted to immediately pull all of our troops out. One anchor asked him to clarify, and he then said that it is obvious that we need a withdrawl plan that would work, but he didn’t specify until asked.

    I believe that Paul’s ideas are good. He has what it takes to be President. He just doesn’t have what it takes to BECOME the President, sadly.

    Jon

    February 13, 2008 at 3:09 pm

  5. Ron Paul won three states and is getting double digits in most others now.
    If you think Obama is viable, read this:

    http://www.ronpaulhive.com/hive/?p=223

    NH

    February 13, 2008 at 3:29 pm

  6. I agree with this stuff 100 percent.

    Not to mention that total lack of ability in Ron Paul’s campaign to work with the grassroots.

    And to people who say you should look at things more long term and not look for instant gratification……..give me a break.

    This is about the candidate and his play for president, not any movement that might come from Ron Paul’s message.. which is doubtful considering the brain washed nature of his followers.

    Great read

    February 13, 2008 at 3:36 pm

  7. I must say, this negativity towards such a great campaign is shameful. Ron Paul stands for truth, liberty, and the constitution. How can something like this be talked about so hopelessly. This is a proud man and his followers are proud peoples. This will not bring them down a bit, only bring them up, for they are used to this treason talk. FOR LIBERTY! Long Live Ron Paul!

    Josh Schadel

    February 13, 2008 at 4:30 pm

  8. Great Read: on your “give me a break”…that was a spam comment that I’ll be getting rid of.

    Josh: Your comment is appreciated; However, I hope I have not misrepresented myself. I do not mean to downplay the mindset behind Ron Paul’s message or his campaign. Notice the last paragraph in my post:

    “The purpose of this post was not to prove why Ron Paul shouldn’t be elected, but rather, why he won’t be.”

    I support much of Ron Paul’s message and have not endorsed any other candidate yet (and probably won’t). It was my attempt to point out that there were certain barriers that will prevent him from becoming president, in spite of the astuteness of many of his positions.

    astuteness

    February 13, 2008 at 5:25 pm

  9. BTW: Great Read, I should clarify: I didn’t mean your comment was spam, rather, the comment you reffered to was. That is the one I’ll be editing later. Your comment was fine.

    astuteness

    February 13, 2008 at 5:27 pm

  10. Good points more importantly Huckabee stole his platform and the Christian conservatives went with Huckabee. This surprised me due to the very offensive comment on Mormons. It was very offensive first amendment separation issue and the association with televangelist under investigation for fraud and private jets (eye of the needle thing. The baptist and Waco thing was not an issue after 911. I do not agree it was a negative message but an intelligent message. The Google trends showed exactly how the media cartel influenced the results. The other great issue was Romney.. Think about the Neo-con Bush machine in Florida only gave McCain a 4% lead and McCain won New Hampshire by 38% in 2000. Paul already has won if you think about his less government stand by getting congressional candidates which was Gingrich strength. McCain will not be president and it going very much like the Carter election. Clinton administration opened up relations with North Vietnam and the McCain videos will show up.. My hope is that they would have shown up sooner and a Chuck Hagle/Paul ticket of patriots was drafted at the convention. I mean Lieberman McCain? Paul has a movement it is not a football game, unfortunately to many people want to vote for crazy reasons. Look at the Virgina vote, hundreds of thousands of military industrial and government welfare voters and only a couple of thousand vote win for McCain.. We have a message movement which will live longer that a couple of presidential terms. Keep the faith and use the freedom of the web.. Ron needed a Peggy Noonan speech writer and and preacher delivery for the sheep…

    john AKA highwaytoserfdom

    February 13, 2008 at 6:21 pm

  11. Huckabee is being encouraged by the neo-conservative Republicans to drop out of the race, which would give McCain an open field. However, there is more than a few months to go before the convention. McCain, who is not the smoothest candidate (today he voted against a ban on torture) can add to his reputation of being pro-war. Further, if the ecnonomy regresses, and the war goes on without any further resolution, he could find himself rejeted by the growing Republican conservatives (not Neo-conservatives). Ron Paul’s followers would never vote for McCain, and the conservative Republicans might be ready to cut a deal with him. There is a great deal of sympathy for him insofar as his treatment by the media goes. But as to McCain, he is known to have fallen he influence of Lieberman, who makes no apologies for his Zionistic desire to destroy Iran. Finally, and sad to say, it cannot be denied that the health of McCain might enter into the equation. Will a return by Romney be acceptable? I doubt it. His departure and return would be but another sign of his evident inability to make up his mind.

    L. Step

    February 13, 2008 at 7:17 pm

  12. hey you might know. is this a spoof or real? John McCain

    liz bessent

    February 13, 2008 at 8:20 pm

  13. Great analysis here. You should run a campaign.

    rideronthet

    February 13, 2008 at 9:57 pm

  14. Good analysis and all EXCELLENT points of failure.

    Here’s a couple more:

    1) Failure to hire ANYONE (firm, person, even intern, etc) with any experience as a PR and Media Relations person. (Benton doesn’t count… a “Press Secretary” who spends half his time playing “personal bodyguard” is going to keep media AWAY not draw them in.) THIS IS THE PRIMARY REASON for the lack of free media — the failure to make the media’s job easy, and total failure to “court” them. (McCain’s ENTIRE constituency is the press… because he has always courted them. They KNOW he is borderline insane, but they HIDE that because they “love” him so much.)

    2) Failure to come up with a REAL THEME for the campaign. While the ambiguous “Hope for America” is no more vague than Obama’s “Change” — it is just that Vague and meaningless. Combine it with all the “negativity” you cited (including the manifest negativity and “victim mentality” that the staff AND the grassroots convey CONSTANTLY about the media) and you have a DEPRESSING campaign, not an uplifting one. (People want HOPE, not fear — even McCain’s use of SCARY ISLAMOFASCIST FEAR is just a tool to provide the “hope” and the “assurance” that he will “save us all from the ragheads”.)

    3) The MAIN ONE — failure by the candidate (aspiring to an EXECUTIVE position) to demonstrate any management skill or even oversight of the campaign. This is not, and never was the Ron Paul campaign — it started and has remained the Kent Snyder & Lew Moore campaign starring an imaginary “Ron Paul” that they personally worship.)

    Failure to plan is planning to fail.

    This campaign never really had a plan, other than failure. We were sold (actually we sold ourselves) a bill of goods.

    jkhutz

    February 13, 2008 at 11:01 pm

  15. And the 800 pound gorilla “election fraud”, let’s not forget that one. Bev Harris, anyone?

    Mikester

    February 14, 2008 at 2:44 am

  16. Oh give me a break Mikester, the people of American have spoken, and they haven’t choose Ron Paul. Hell, the GOP most assuredly never even considered Ron Paul. Your talking about a guy who doesn’t even agree with his own party. So even if he had been elected if say McCain/Huck dropped dead, he’d be overwhelmingly out numbered in Washington and unable to get anything done.

    After all I seriously doubt he wouldn’t have been able to even make even half of his promises come true. As the Congress & Senate make laws after all, not the President and they have the right to stop the President if they feel it justified. If Ron Paul really wanted to change things, he’d recruit like-minded individuals for the Congress. Over all, things are only going to change from the bottom up not the top down.

    Ben

    February 14, 2008 at 11:17 am

  17. I mean hell, if Americans are too stupid to do their own homework on the candidates they deserve what they get. Blaming the media is going to get you anywhere. Especially when Ron Paul has gotten much more than he probably deserved.

    Ben

    February 14, 2008 at 11:22 am

  18. Even if Ron doesn’t win and the worst case scenario happens – president is a corporate backed warlord bent on creating a world of suffering – we should not give up hope.

    From the end of your blog:

    “So therefore I must confess that I was numbered among those who were disappointed at the results from Super Tuesday that so intensely shattered the dreams and optimism held by so many—a dream that I must for now bid goodbye.”

    The dream only ends when you yourself admits to it – and with that last line that looks like an admission of defeat. We are only defeated when we say we are. Otherwise though we should continue to fight for the world we want while respecting everyone else’s rights. Their rights to sheep mentality with media as shepard or “kill the ragheads” mania because those ways of living are no more right/wrong than my desire to turn Earth into a purely paradise world with each person being able to create what they so desire. This sounds very radical but I’ve outlined my thoughts on why the world has no natural “perfect and optimal” state in this blog posting:

    http://truthseeker1234.wordpress.com/2008/01/31/theres-no-wrong-way-to-eat-a-reeses/

    Anyway in short we can’t forget that it is us who define the power to these leaders we appoint. The leaders are just projections of our consciousness. Looking out an airplane window as I described in one blog made me realize this country is a LOT different and a LOT more diverse than the little part of it I live in. This is another post I made regarding these ideas:

    http://truthseeker1234.wordpress.com/2008/01/22/crayola-politics/

    truthseeker1234

    February 14, 2008 at 1:19 pm

  19. I found myself agreeing with certain points made in this post such as how Paul doesn’t attack his opponents enough and call them out on their impractical, unconstitutional policies, although he did some of this. Paul confronted McCain on his economic credentials. Paul attacked Romney for his unconstitutional approach to war. I think Paul is perceived as being negative at times because people simply like to be appeased and often like to hide from the truth, yet in reality his positions offer the most hopeful future for our nation. Paul is often perceived as having impractical views but you have to compare him to other candidates.

    For example, 100 years in Iraq plus MORE wars? We can’t possibly afford this, its totally impractical! McCain says the jobs aren’t coming back home and that illegals need amnesty? This is neither practical nor optimistic, yet McCain is the current GOP frontrunner. McCain did have his bickering session with Romney (and then Paul attacked them on that) but he wasn’t exactly the most confrontational of the bunch. Where does McCain rate on this list of electable traits? Not very well.

    Paul offered the ONLY real, optimistic solutions and America ignored and shut him out, like a bunch of children plugging their ears, rambling la la la so they wouldn’t have to hear the hard truths.

    The bottom line for me is that yes, there is a certain degree of truth to what you’ve written here but we still have to face reality and not slide back into the foggy world of spin and half truths. The main reasons for Ron Paul’s lack of success was two-fold:

    1. He was constantly censored, left out, and had his image manipulated by the media.
    2. Americans don’t want real solutions, they want to be appeased, they don’t value or understand true principles of freedom, and they allowed the media to form their opinions.

    Ben is right in that the country will get what it deserves. But you can’t ignore or whitewash the impact that the constant censoring and propaganda had on Paul’s campaign. If everyone was properly educated and believed in the principles of the Constitution, Paul would be elected.

    Chris Anderson

    February 14, 2008 at 1:29 pm

  20. Final thoughts, when Paul attacks other candidates, he’s pegged as a radical or negative, fringe candidate. When he offers real solutions (cut spending, end an illegal, un-Christian, losing war, deregulate healthcare to lower costs, etc.) he’s called impractical. When he’s optimistic about the real possibility of implementing permanent solutions that would guarantee economic prosperity, he’s called all of the above. It’s about perceptions, image, and education.

    Chris Anderson

    February 14, 2008 at 1:47 pm

  21. I truly hope and P R A Y that Ron Paul wins. He is a honest, informed and wise man of God and therefore the World’s last hope to end the madness that has overtaken and duped the citizens of the United States of America and her Allies.

    ella

    August 27, 2008 at 4:42 am

  22. I’d like him to win too, although it looks like McCain definitely has the nomination clinched. Maybe next time. I hear that his Campaign for Liberty is getting off to a good start.

    Astuteness

    August 28, 2008 at 11:01 pm


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